RM Auctions just concluded their sell-off of part of the The McMullen Collection in Lapeer, MI. Besides a 1931 Duesenberg that went for $1.35 million (before the 10% auction fees), and a 1930 Cadillac V16 that drew a top bid of $960,000, one of the most spectacular lots was a near perfect 1953 Corvette Roadster. 1953 was the first year for Corvette production, and although the performance of these earliest 'Vettes was pretty pathetic, they are still quite desirable to collectors as the earliest examples of one of America's greatest sports car nameplates. This particular car was chassis number 157 (of the 300 units made in 1953) and sold for a mind-blowing $400,000.
The Corvette and 72 other collectible cars were once owned by Michigan car dealer, John McMullen. At 79, McMullen decided to part with just over half of his collection, and RM handled the sales. McMullen bought the '53 'Vette 12 years ago, just after it had undergone a Bloomington Gold restoration. Considering the estimate was only in the $125,000 - $175,000 range, the gavel price came as quite a shock. In fact, it was 33% better than the superb '53 we saw at Barrett-Jackson in January, which went for $298,350. Great car in the right colors and it just happened to have at least two bidders who really wanted it.
Thanks for the tip, Keith!